Department stores are pretty common in the United States; Macy’s and Nordstrom are amongst the most popular stores. However, department stores are no longer in their glory days. These stores were once brimming with amenities, merchandise, and several items to discover and now struggling in a challenging retail environment. Department stores are a type of retail endangered in today’s world. However, Macy’s and Nordstrom are two department stores that are well-positioned to weather the change in the retail world. It then boils down to which department store is better. In this Macy’s vs Nordstrom review, we’ll be covering the different features of both stores to discover which one has more to offer than the other.
Both stores have worked hard to stay ahead of the competition and bounce back from the lockdown. Although they both share many similarities like in-store pickup, store credit cards, same-day delivery, and more, we’ll be finding out the features and strategies of each store to determine which store is better. Without further ado, let’s dive in.
Macy’s vs Nordstrom – Macy’s Overview
Macy’s headquarter can be found in New York, New York. It is also the location of its flagship store, which was in 1858. Macy’s has over 700 stores in 45 states, and you can also find them in Guam and Puerto Rico. Macy’s has three banners that offer women, children, and more apparel. It also covers home furnishings, cosmetics, and accessories. There was a time that Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square was known as the largest department store in the world. However, that’s no longer the case, although it is still the largest in the US.
Macy’s operates their business in three varying ways. There’s the in-store method, e-commerce, and on mobile. Additionally, Macy’s is a thriving department store with over $17 billion global net sales in 2020. Although this was a 30% drop from the previous year’s revenue, it was unavoidable due to the pandemic. This department store aims to be the retailer to see opportunities on the horizon and have a clear part to capitalize on this opportunity.
Macy’s vs Nordstrom – Nordstrom Overview
Nordstrom is a luxury department store, and you can find its headquarter in Seattle, Washington. Nordstrom started in 1901 as a shoe store till it slowly transformed into a full-line retailer over the years. Today, Nordstrom has over 248 Nordstrom rack locations and 100 stores in 10 US states. You can also find Nordstrom in Canada.
One of Nordstrom’s main strengths is its diversified portfolio. This includes Trunk Club, Nordstrom Rack, Bevy Up, and Haute Look. Each of these helps Nordstrom meet the needs of its modern shopper in this digital age. Nordstrom also partners with brands like Glossier and Reformation, making it an excellent competition for Macy’s. In 2020, Nordstrom’s annual revenue was $15.524, a 2% decrease from the previous year.
Nordstrom also stays ahead of the competition in many ways, especially its technological innovations. You can find one of its innovations in its flagship store in New York, where customers can try clothes on virtually. Additionally, Nordstrom offers free shipping for a minimum spend. These features help to advance Nordstrom and reinforce the streamlined luxury experience one can expect from a brand like Nordstrom.
Macy’s Marketing Strategy
Macy’s is a company that wants to grow in different areas of its business. The company aims to strengthen its customer relationship, optimize its portfolio, expand assortments, and reduce costs. Macy has five key strategic initiatives to achieve this growth that help it reach customers and rebound in the struggling department store segment.
Implementation of Loyalty Program
One strategy that Macy’s use is the implementation of the loyalty program. This loyalty program was always available; However, customers had to pay for products with their branded Macy’s card to receive loyalty benefits. This is no longer the case as it is available for all customers, irrespective of how they pay for purchases. Different benefits come with the loyalty program, and they include:
- Bronze – This loyalty benefit allows customers to enjoy perks, offers, star money days, and a birthday surprise.
- Silver – When you spend up to $500 in a year at Macy’s using their credit card, you can receive 25% off any day the store chooses with their Star Pass coupons.
- Gold – When you spend more than $500 or up to $1,199 annually at Macy’s, you can receive 25% off any day you choose with the Star Pass coupon. Additionally, you get free shipping on all your purchases using Macy’s card.
- Platinum – This is the highest tier of Macy’s loyalty program. It is available once you spend more than $1200 on Macy’s credit card in a year. You’ll receive 24% off any day you choose with the Star Pass coupon and free shipping on all your purchases once you use your Macy’s card. Additionally, you’ll receive 5% back in rewards on all Macy’s merchandise you purchase in-store and online.
This newly improved loyalty program allows the store to enjoy a positive change in their member’s behavior. It makes the customers sell more while inviting new customers into the program.
Another marketing strategy of Macy’s is in the Macy’s vs Nordstrom review. Macy’s is meeting customers’ demand by expanding its online assortment. It achieves this by partnering with vendors that will handle fulfillment. These assortments will include new and old brands and new categories to help the company connect with a new customer segment. The new expansion is quite similar to many retailers’ marketplace models.
In addition to partnering with vendors, Macy’s is hoping analytics will help it figure out shoppers’ needs so it can tailor its offerings to meet consumers’ demands. This analytics focuses on markdowns, discounts, discovering, and acting on customers’ demand.
Another way Macy’s is meeting customers’ needs is by expanding its in-store picking program. This includes its buy-online ship-to-store program and buy-online pickup in-store program. The pickup in-store program is now available in over 50 stores and will continue to include other stores as the months pass. In addition to improving these pickup programs, Macy’s is improving its service to ensure a better customer experience. The retailer provides At Your Service stations in every store to this effect. The goal is to make pickup quicker and easier for shoppers.
Nordstrom Marketing Strategy
Nordstrom is outperforming several retail companies, and it is set to continue this success in the future. It can beat several retailers through the marketing strategies outlined below.
Great Customer Service
Nordstrom takes pride in its customer service, which its competitors closely emulate. The company achieves this by empowering employees and giving them sufficient freedom and trust. A shopping experience at Nordstrom is often associated with impressive and personalized service. With this, this retail giant effortlessly tops the ranking in customer service surveys.
Unlike other retail stores employees, Nordstrom employees exercise their judgment and make their own in-store decision. They usually don’t consult management before deciding on customer service. This feature allows them to exhibit professionalism and maturity to customers while saving time. In addition, the store also offers an excellent return policy. Customers love the return policy because it means Nordstrom will take back any merchandise you bring back without questions.
The Outlet Business
The Nordstrom Rack is another way Nordstrom stays ahead of its competitor and is vital in this Macy’s vs Nordstrom review. The outlets give the brand exposure to different customers that prioritize values. Nordstrom has opened over 70 rack locations since the first one in 2010. The retail giant also has plans to open dozens more over the years.
Reaching Young Customers
One of the problems that most department stores face is how to reach young customers, and Nordstrom has solved this issue. Nordstrom reaches customers through the outlet business. These millennials are continually looking for a deal, and the company believes they will migrate to full-line stores as they grow older.
Different Approaches During Tough Time
During the pandemic, several traditional brick-and-mortar stores were shutting down. However, Macy’s and Nordstrom showed the power of evolution. However, both brands take a unique approach towards staying relevant and achieving long-term success.
Nordstrom’s Expansion into Second-hand Items
Nordstrom usually offers a wide selection of items from different brands. However, now there’s a steep discount on some of these items because they’ve been previously worn. Recently, Nordstrom launched a secondhand boutique online and at its flagship store. It is known as See You Tomorrow and offers discounted items picked from Nordstrom’s customer’s returns. These items are precisely what you would find at Nordstrom, except they’ve been previously owned.
The second-hand market is a growth opportunity for Nordstrom because customers are looking for sustainable fashion. Most customers want to breathe life into previously owned items. Customers can get great deals on previously owned dresses while Nordstrom reduces its carbon footprint and work through its returned items. This makes it a win for Nordstrom and its customers.
Macy’s Shut Down Store
Macy’s approach during tough times is another way the retail giant differs from Nordstrom in the Macy’s vs Nordstrom review. Its strategy was to close down 125 of its stores, and it can be successful in the long run. The store also plans to move its headquarter to New York and create smaller stores outside traditional shopping malls. This will give this retailer a chance to be closer to where customers live and work.
This strategy effectively reflects changes in how consumers shop. Instead of traveling to department stores searching for what they need, customers now prefer the convenience of online shopping and specialty stores. Macy’s hopes to connect with new generations of customers by restructuring stores. Additionally, the retailer hopes that moving to where connects already are and offering the products they need can push past the mall days.
Over the years, we’ve seen several department stores failing to evolve. With changing technology, trends, and a difference in customers preference, there’s a shift in the retail state. Macy’s and Nordstrom continue to show that different approaches can help a retail store grow. The goal is to understand your target audience and evolve in the ideal ways that meet their needs. However, as both department stores excel, it can be hard to determine which department store is better. We hope this Macy’s vs Nordstrom review gives you insight into how each company operates to provide you with a better idea of the best department store.